By Karol Jarkovsky
The good news is we live in a world where there is incredible depth of content.
We have more publications, websites, television and radio networks, blogs and quite frankly more ways to communicate than ever before. Today, thousands of companies and millions of people are creating fresh content for people to consume on their computers, tablets, smart phones, smart TVs and other devices.
Now for the bad news: If you happen to be one of those content creators, artificial intelligence (AI) is going to increasingly take over that task.
AI Moves Into the Content Market
This is great news for companies that produce content. As AI comes online, those companies will get more and more content at less and less cost.
But can AI really replace the creative spark that only humans possess? Will AI be able to generate humor, create nuances and other subtleties, generate headlines and callouts people can’t ignore?
We’ll find out soon because that day is fast approaching.
In the digital world, there’s a lot to be said in favor of AI. AI helps perform more tasks, solve more problems and create smarter solutions.
Although AI has not yet cornered the content market, it is already making it easier for the content managers to use predictive capabilities to create digital content in a collaborative environment.
And there’s more to come. AI can provide solutions under the cover of another platform or system, or it can be a bot collecting and categorizing data. Some speculate this widespread use of AI will give web content management a new life, making content much more intense, useful and richer.
AI's Far-Reaching Impact
More Content Generated by Less People
The promise of AI comes with a parallel fear that the dynamic changes it brings will eliminate and replace jobs in many advanced work settings.
AI-based intelligent or smart machines already have infiltrated our day to day existence. We live in a world of self-driving cars, self-flying drones, smart sensors to monitor data, virtual butlers and smart machines running households, with much more to come.
However, we are in the early days of applying AI to content management.
Man Versus Machine, Mano a Mano
In the future, you can expect man to come face to face with machines on a more regular basis. Just look at what’s already happening: A robot can create music and collaborate with other musicians with utterly imaginative and ingenious results. In one Japanese company, an AI robot just became a member of board of directors.
The idea of humans working side by side and collaborating with AI robots is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It will happen in our lifetime.
I Like Siri, Cortana, Now, and Echo but...
Intelligent voice assistants like Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo are the first wave of replacing what was previously human interaction.
We now talk to AI-powered robots. Companies are transforming traditional question-answer AI models to give output based on a wider semantic level of understanding. The collaboration between the knowledge base and reasoning engine are set to perfect the conversational AIs.
And it's only a matter of time before AIs talk to each other, offering and receiving help and assistance.
Searching is another digital interaction impacted significantly by AI. RankBrain is an AI system to which millions of queries are directed by Google. This AI system processes and interprets the terms or queries. Its mission is to learn about the semantics of Google Search in order to improve itself and deliver more accurate answers.
So, Tell Me More about AI and Content Generation
Content generation is already taking place using AI tools. Just look at how the Associated Press uses the Wordsmith platform from Automated Insights to generate its corporate earnings reports.
Much of the news you read today isn't even written by humans. The number of automatically generated stories far outnumbers the human-created ones. AI algorithms are likely to outperform humans soon and therefore lower the content management costs for companies.
What About the Human Factor? What Keeps Us Ahead of Machines?
Although AI-generated content saves companies time and money, it doesn’t deliver a consistent audience. At least, not yet.
The computer may pick up information, but it can’t perform critical thinking and thus can’t provide the human touch to create a unique idea. AI tools can solve problems, using natural language and analyzing complicated data. Consumers require a human interpretation before they believe everything they read.
Creative thinking, sense of humor, real stories and humanity make content more real for people, which is one of the last remaining differentiators between man and machine.
What Makes AI So Attractive and Useful?
AI is more practical than Human Intelligence for certain issues. AI solutions understand past consumer behavior and can analyze the data to provide faster and practical solutions to consumer's concerns at a speed and accuracy level that people cannot.
For example, AI is stealing the show by acting as "website doctors." These AI site doctors identify dead pages that fail to generate any traffic. They also identify pages that have been flagged for containing broken links or pages with incorrectly displayed images or videos.
Soon these AI tools will move beyond pointing out issues to making proactive recommendations for supporting governance and good practice. You will get recommendations for page layouts, sizes and convertibility.
And when it comes to content optimization, AI tools bring faster results to A/B testing by simultaneously testing different permutations of components and page variants. You can now mix several tests at a time while monitoring traffic and leave the analysis and results to AI.
Preparing Your Business for What's to Come
Organizations are constantly on the lookout for ways to do things faster and with less people. And that means we can expect even more examples of AI in the workplace.
AI algorithms can churn piles of information and release output to recognize patterns and categories in data. AI can sort through mountains of business data, pinpoint patterns and identify critical trends.
So yes, AI can improve efficiency, boost control of information and result in significant savings in time and cost. It will be up individual companies, however, to strike the right balance between man and machine.
Content managers and technologists can take a few preventative steps to stay relevant in this era of AI-generated content.
Creating reusable content, building meaningful semantic HTML, paying attention to metadata and semantics to improve content's usefulness: these are just a few of the steps that will prepare your organization's content for artificial intelligence.
Think about input and output. AI is about engineering, hence it requires intense collaboration between content specialists, designers and technologists. Build in affordability, as it will prevent disasters.
And above all, remember to think outside the box. AI opens up possibilities we haven't yet explored, so keep playing and experimenting.
About the Author
Karol Jarkovsky is Director of Product at Kentico Software, a CMS, online marketing, eCommerce, and cloud software company with offices in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. A graduate of the Brno University of Technology, he has been working in product management, global software development, and customer success for more than a decade.